Posted October 27th, 2010 by Jane Kelly
We are continuing to gather input for the Cybersecurity Roadmap that PSHSB will present to the Commission early next year. Since early August, we’ve met with dozens of organizations representing a wide range of interests to help us focus the Roadmap. To everyone who has participated in these discussions, thank you. We are at the point where we think it would be beneficial to get as many of these vantage points as possible in the same room for an extended open discussion.
To this end, last week, we announced that on Friday, November 5, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., the Bureau will hold a workshop at FCC Headquarters to support the development of the Cybersecurity Roadmap. Because the Commission Meeting Room can hold only a limited number of people, you must pre-register by November 3rd. You can do this online. You also can register by contacting my colleague Deandrea Wilson or calling (202) 418-0703. As of today, almost 100 people have registered. If you cannot attend in person, free audio/video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC's livestream Web page. If you participate this way, you can ask questions by email, which will be manned during the workshop. We’ll try to get to as many of these questions as we can. We have a great mix of private and non-profit panelists lined up, and we’ll be announcing more about the agenda in a few days.
For those who may be new to this topic, the Roadmap was one of the recommendations in the Public Safety chapter of the National Broadband Plan. Its purpose is to identify five of the most critical cybersecurity threats to the communications infrastructure and its end-users, and develop a two-year plan for the FCC to address these threats. The reasoning behind the development of the Roadmap is that the public internet, like other critical communications infrastructure, is under constant assault by malicious traffic and harbors a number of potentially disabling vulnerabilities.
The discussion at the workshop will explore cybersecurity issues related to the underlying communications network that enables interconnectivity, including secure routing and directory services and on identifying the key security vulnerabilities from an end-user’s perspective, whether enterprise or residential. We will discuss ways to increase awareness of communications reliability and security, incentives for ISPs to implement network security practices, protocols and technologies, and what should be done to help consumers deal with cyber security threats and incidents.
Your input will be important to the development of the roadmap, so we look forward to seeing you at the workshop on November 5.
Posted October 20th, 2010 by George Krebs
By John Leibovitz
At last week’s Commission meeting, Chairman Genachowski announced that the FCC will be hosting a Spectrum Summit to bring together creative thinkers to solve the looming spectrum crunch and ensure enough airwaves are available for Americans’ growing appetite for mobile broadband.
The Summit is now here – it kicks off at 10 am tomorrow (Thursday) -- and will be carried live at FCC.gov/Live. And we’re very pleased that C-SPAN has agreed to join us as well. You’ll be able to find video archives there and in the FCC’s video archive on the web.
It promises to be an interesting day. Mobile broadband demand is growing at an astounding rate, and we’re bringing together some the key players in industry, government, academia, and the investment community to discuss how we can best help spectrum supply keep up.
Check out the agenda here, and tune in tomorrow!
Posted September 10th, 2010 by George Krebs
The annual Gov 2.0 Summit wrapped up this week. Among the many roll outs, innovations, and talks from across government, Managing Director Steve VanRoekel and Chairman Julius Genachowski took the stage to announce the launch of fcc.gov/developer. At launch the page currently features an initial sweep of developer APIs including the Consumer Broadband Test, Census Block Conversions, and License View.
If you didn’t catch the speech on Tuesday, we’ve posted it below.
As a bonus, this compelling keynote by Carl Malamud, The Currents of Our Time, marked one of the high points of the week. He’s an open government evangelist who spoke forcefully about the need to use government as a highly functioning platform.
Posted in Reform - Redesign , Events , Open Government , Reform - Data , Developer
Posted September 9th, 2010 by Donice Jones - Consumer Education & Outreach Specialist
On Friday, September 03, 2010 the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division staff attended Joint Utility Discount Day in Washington, DC. This event, sponsored by District Department of the Environment (formerly DC Energy Office) is designed to provide information on utility discounts and other forms of public assistance to qualifying residents of the District. The FCC was there to promote Lifeline & Link Up Awareness Week September 13-19, 2010. Lifeline & Link Up are programs that provide discounts to low income individuals for basic telephone installation and service.
Lifeline involves discounts on the monthly charges, and Link Up involves a discount on the cost of installation of telephone service. The discount is available for the primary residential services telephone and/or a wireless phone. Many consumers are unaware that these programs exist. Our goal is to work with social assistance organizations such as Office of the People’s Counsel, and others, to ensure that more consumers become aware of the programs and receive information on how to apply.
Participating in an event such as Joint Utility Discount Day, with over 5,000 eligible consumers in attendance, was important. Events such as these are key in ensuring that consumers in the Washington, DC area develop an awareness of discounts offered through Lifeline & Link Up.
We are currently working with officials from Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, Maryland as well as West Virginia, and Fairfax County, Virginia to hold similar events within the next month. And we plan to continue our outreach efforts beyond the DC Metropolitan area with future plans to make this a nationwide effort.
Posted in Events , Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau , Consumers
Posted July 21st, 2010 by George Krebs
On Monday the country marked an extraordinary milestone as we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To commemorate the occasion the FCC, along with the White House and the Department of Commerce, held a technology showcase displaying the remarkable advances in assistive technology. A short program followed featuring a host of speakers including Chairman Genachowski (whose remarks you can read here) and the President’s Special Assistant for Disability Policy, Kareem Dale. Awe-inspiring performance troupes dotted the event. The piece performed by the stunning Wild Zappers, an all male deaf dance company, marked a high point. This video was shown as an introduction to the program.
Posted in Events
Posted May 18th, 2010 by George Krebs
Over one hundred Commission employees were witness to a remarkable presentation yesterday morning in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage month in the Commission Meeting Room. Here’s a rough rundown of the program. The morning started off with Yul Kwon, Deputy Bureau Chief in CGB and today’s master of ceremonies, giving a brief introduction to the assembled crowd. He began by sharing a bit about why he chose to compete in the Survivor program, which he won in 2006. Great misperceptions about Asians persist, Kwon said, and going on Survivor gave him the platform to counter many of these in front of a worldwide audience.
(View the full photo set of the above pictures from yesterday's event. Photo credit: Jenny Hou)
Kwon then introduced the morning’s keynote speaker, Commissioner Stuart Ishimaru. Commissioner Ishimaru is a commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In his presentation he told stories of little-known Asian-Americans who were on the front lines of history; beside Malcolm X; embroiled in the McCarthy hearings; or, like Ishimaru's grandparents, horrifically deplaced in internment camps during World War II. Americans show an extraordinary capacity for resilience, he noted. Returning to the theme of the month Commissioner Ishimaru touted the myriad benefits of diversity in the workplace.
After talking the audience was ready to be energized. Commission employees were not disappointed when thirty adorable kids emerged in the room, appearing to range in age from 5 to 15 years-old. Twenty of the older set bounded on stage to perform a dance that resembled a Filipino variation of Bernstein and Sondheim’s “West Side Story.” The dance troupe Songspell traveled from the Philippines to tour on the U.S. circuit and proceeded to delight our audience with a veritable mélange of musical acts, songs, dance routines, and costumes. There were rock and roll numbers and national anthem-sounding sets. Each was gorgeous in every respect.
Another performance by Soka Gakkai rounded out the morning's program. The two women performed an elaborate drum dance and featured one of the workers at our very own Capital Café. They were dressed in colorful and vibrant Chinese robes.
Remarks by Thomas Wyatt closed the event and a delicious reception followed.
Posted May 3rd, 2010 by Roger Goldblatt - Outreach and Policy Advisor, CGB
Welcome to the new FCC, where our face, and the faces of our staff, are showing up not only in DC but around the nation.
The FCC has been hitting the road - going beyond the DC Beltway - busily setting up events and meeting with consumers and community groups from Charlotte to Seattle. And the nation is taking notice. What surprises and pleases me is that every time we do an event outside of the DC area, the local public seems not just excited – but thankful. We’ve heard comments from folks like: “I can’t believe you came all the way from Washington, DC to listen to us.” “Whether we agree with your actions or not, we really appreciate the fact that you’re hearing us and giving us the opportunity to comment in person and to answer our questions.”
On April 27th and 28th, the FCC took its show on the road to Seattle. The issue at hand was the “open Internet.” Zac Katz, Deputy Director of the Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis, opened the community forum on April 27th, explaining in laymen’s terms just what “open Internet” is and what relevant issues are currently facing the FCC. The audience was diverse, reflecting the broad spectrum of Seattle’s constituency.
The next morning the FCC hosted a workshop, FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski welcomed the audience by video, as did Senator Maria Cantwell and Congressman Jay Inslee. Using new media tools, the FCC was able to field live questions via the Web and Twitter.
Posted March 24th, 2010 by Pat Rinn
The FCC continued its active outreach program at CTIA – The Wireless Association on Monday, March 22, in the Las Vegas Convention Center. The convention was scheduled from March 23 – 25. The FCC participated as part of an afternoon pre-show program and as usual, heard new, different, and important comments on our licensing systems and how we could improve them.
The FCC also hosted a booth on the convention floor which featured welcoming messages from the Chairman and commissioners.
The Brainstorming Session was to solicit ideas about how to improve the current licensing systems across the FCC Bureaus, and also entertained comments on the newly released beta version of Spectrum Dashboard which allows new search functionality, downloading and mapping for some of our radio services. We also provided a high level overview of the Spectrum Dashboard beta.
Our outreach program will continue. Watch for scheduled events in early April where you will be able to join the discussion and learn more about the development of the Consolidated Licensing System.
Posted March 14th, 2010 by Pat Rinn
The FCC was an active presence at the International Wireless Communication Expo convention this past week in the Las Vegas Convention Center. The convention was scheduled from March 10 – 12 and the FCC hosted a booth on the convention floor and held a Brainstorming Session that was open to all attendees and exhibitors.
The Brainstorming Session was to receive ideas about how to improve the current licensing systems across the FCC Bureaus, and the ideas were flowing. The suggestions crossed multiple systems and numerous licensing related functions, including improvements to access to data through search and data extract enhancements. This Brainstorming Session was only one of many brainstorming sessions that have been held for multiple industry organizations, and represents just one aspect of the increased transparency that the FCC is striving for in its outreach efforts. The project to consolidate the licensing systems will also include many future interaction activities for the users to provide their input on how the government can improve their services and communication.
We look forward to continuing to work in cooperation with the public to improve how they conduct business with the FCC!
Posted February 5th, 2010 by Jennifer Manner - Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
There’s a lot of excitement around the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau this week about our upcoming public forum on mobile broadband for first responders. On Wednesday, February 10th at 2:00 p.m., we’ll be hosting first responders, network operators, and policy makers for a two-hour discussion about how we can solve a problem that has plagued the public safety community for far too long.
Posted in Events , Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau